PTSD

Finding the right PTSD treatment can make a big difference for Veterans

This past weekend I flew to Dallas for an internet marketing conference. I don’t fly often, so this trip made me feel a little nostalgic. I actually recalled the first time I flew, and that nervous feeling I had leading up to the flight. My fear of flying had nothing to do with safety. I was flying American Airlines so I knew I would be safe. My fear was rooted in the fact that I am neurotic. Logistics scare me. I was worried about checking in, going through security, finding the right gate, and all of the other stress that goes along with travel. How did I get past this fear? Well, I did what...

MST, Social Media, and Establishing Service Connection for Veterans

If you read my most recent post on Veterans using the social media application Whisper to discuss PTSD, then you know that it’s not the only condition Veterans are making use of the app for lately. Posts regarding Military Sexual Trauma, which is closely associated with PTSD, have been appearing a lot more often. A lot of Veterans who have been sexually assaulted or raped while serving are taking to Whisper to discuss these situations. In my post regarding Whisper and PTSD I stated that I believed using this platform to discuss traumatic events was a great first step in seeking treatment. The...

PTSD: From a "Whisper," to a Roar

As a person working in social media I often try to stay connected to current trends. A relatively new social networking site called Whisper is becoming quite popular. Whisper is a place in which you can confess thoughts or life events anonymously. Simply, you create text that is posted over an image of your choosing. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, you don’t have to use your real name. The application takes great lengths to make sure your real identity remains hidden. (If you want it to be.)  Personally I am not a fan of anonymity, but this service isn’t really geared towards me. While a lot of...

5 Tips for getting through the VA Disability process from someone who knows

When I joined the Jan Dils team nearly four years ago I had no idea how frustrating working with the VA would be. Granted, I am not a Veteran, nor have I served, but I can honestly saw working on the legal side can be frustrating. I am the kind of person who prefers to see things as either black or white. The VA however likes to view things in multiple shades of gray. (Please note that this is a reference to how individuals interpret and make judgments on issues, not a reference to that awful book.) If it were up to me, a Veteran with a diagnosis for PTSD would simply be granted that. However,...

Making the rank; Does your rank help your VA claim?

When I was studying criminal justice in undergrad, or as it is more popularly known, wasting four years of my life, we learned about ranks within police departments. I really wish I would have paid more attention during that lesson because it likely would have helped me when doing intakes with Veterans. The reason is that I have to know what rank a Veteran was at when he or she was discharged from the military. One might think that it is a simple as asking them and then jotting down their reply, but like going to the DMV, things get complicated fast. Most of my research came from the...

Modern Veterans' Organizations offer Alternative to alcohol-based socialization.

Full disclosure, I am not much into drinking. It’s never really been a hobby of mine. I remember celebrating pretty heavily when I turned 21, then revisiting some nachos I had consumed earlier that evening, and not too much after that. I am now nine years removed from that day and I can’t really recall any other time in which I was intoxicated. Honestly I saw a lot of cautionary tales growing up that have really stuck with me. Also, I simply can’t stand the taste of most forms of alcohol. Before we get too far along, I want to make it clear that this is not the judgment express. I am flawed....

Recent Report Sheds Light on VA Mistakes

When I am asked by a Veteran if the department of Veterans Affairs makes mistakes, I automatically feel as if I am in “The Hunger Games,“ and I think to myself “VA today, VA tomorrow, VA forever!” However, like in "The Hunger Games," I should not be afraid to criticize the VA. Besides, they have a lot more to worry about right now than a snarky blogger. I then realize that they are a government agency, and they are subject to occasional audits. Recently a report surfaced from one of those audits showing how severe those mistakes actually are now. As you may already know, every state has at...

Tips for Combat Veterans regarding Fireworks on Independence Day

With Independence Day coming up I am reminded of how much I don’t like fireworks. I can recall two situations that led me to dread public firework displays. When I was sixteen I was a part of a youth program to prepare kids for the workforce. One of my jobs involved cleaning the local city park. It happens to be where they set off the fireworks for our annual celebration. One cold and wet July morning 15 years ago led to 8 hours of picking up cardboard casings on my hands and knees. The 2nd incident happened more recently. I was driving home from Athens during the evening on Independence Day....

Don't fall into the treatment gap

I know I can often sound like a corrupt MP3 file-that’s a broken record for my older readers-but I can’t stress how important medical evidence is for any Veterans Disability claim. While a lack of treatment as a whole is bad for your case, a gap in treatment can be just as bad. Granted, this isn’t as much of an issue for Veterans who are returning home from recent conflicts. We see this problem mostly in Veterans who served in Vietnam, the 80’s or even the early 90’s during Desert Storm. A classic scenario I hear all of the time from Veterans is that they were hurt while serving, chose not to...

Be careful of where you obtain your VA Disability information

Last night I was watching one of my favorite TV Dramas, Nashville, and something made me think. This usually happens because of their blatant product placement from companies like Chevrolet, or Subway, but this time it was actually because of the plot of the show. In this episode all of the singers get together to perform at Ft. Campbell in Tennessee.  They were performing for a group soldiers who were deploying to Afghanistan. This actually made me think of a conversation I had with a Veteran that day. In the show, some of the soldiers were going to serve overseas while others weren't. After...

How effective communication can help you win your VA Disability Claim

Toyotas are boring cars. This is so much of an issue for the auto manufacture that they are trying desperately to make you believe driving a Toyota Camry can be fun. (Evidence is provided in the form of a commercial posted below.) It’s not. It’s simply not a fun car to drive. Toyota should settle down though. People don’t buy Carmys because they are fun; they buy them because they are reliable. You can buy a Camry, put gas in it, and never really have to worry about the car until you sell it a few years later. Some individuals believe that if they hire a VA Disability Attorney they can simply...

Recent Poll Profiles Soldiers Returning Home From Conflict

I’ll be honest; I really don’t like the Family Feud. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it is mine, and I have the right to have it. My displeasure with the show is not with the host, the families on it, or the format; it’s with the survey they use for the answers. They only Survey 100 people for these questions! Are you really trying to tell me that 100 people can really represent the entire country when it comes to something as important as naming something you bring on a picnic? This is really the problem with surveys and polls as a whole, at least in my opinion. As a country, we are...

Military Sexual Trauma Information for Veterans

Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, is in the news a lot right now. In fact, the second season of the hit show "House of Cards" dealt with a subplot involving this subject. It's obviously a big issue for the military right now. While it is a big topic in the mainstream media, a lot of Veterans don't know where to turn for help. A look at the VA website actually has some helpful information on the topic. For instance, did you know that a Veteran does not have to be service connected to receive treatment at a VA facility for MST? In fact, there is no need to present evidence in order to...

(Almost) Everything You need to know about VA Effective Dates

Will I get back pay from the time I was injured in the military? This question is one I encounter with a lot of Veterans, and it is something that is met with a lot of confusion. There are actually a ton of misconceptions about this topic, and I wanted to take time to clear something up. In a perfect world it would make sense that if you have a back injury while in service, the VA would back pay you until then. However, we can tell by the fact that Wendy Williams gets to be on TV, that this world is not perfect. How does the VA determine this? Back pay has to do with your effective date, and...

What a "VCAA" means for your VA Disability Claim

Going to the mailbox is somewhat of a Roller Coaster ride for me. Sometimes it’s an awesome trip and I comeback with a Netflix movie I’ve been waiting for, or a Motor Trend Magazine with a practical midsize sedan on the cover. This only happens a few times a month, but more often I open the little mail box door to find bills, letters from the college I attended asking for alumni donations, and even statements from doctors saying that I owe them money. I hate those days. I have to imagine that Veterans filing for Disability have the same outlook on the mailbox. Almost every correspondence from...